LEADING OFF: Cards can’t lose in Cincy, aces land on DL
A look at what’s happening around the majors Sunday:
QUEEN CITY CRUSH
The Cardinals will try for their 14th consecutive win against the Reds, including their 12th straight in Cincinnati. It’s St. Louis’ second-longest streak of domination in a rivalry that dates to the 1800s – the Cards won 18 straight in 1930-31. Carlos Martinez (3-2, 1.82) will make his second start for St. Louis since returning from a strained muscle in his right side. He’ll face Reds righty Anthony DeSclafani (0-1, 7.20).
Two star pitchers were officially put on the disabled list Saturday: Washington’s Stephen Strasburg and the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka. Strasburg left a start Friday with shoulder inflammation and had an MRI Saturday that showed no further damage. Tanaka strained both hamstrings sprinting for home on a sacrifice fly in a Subway Series game at the Mets. Neither pitcher has a timetable for their return.
The Dodgers got encouraging news on starter Walker Buehler on Saturday, although they’re still monitoring his health. Buehler was diagnosed with bruised ribs, but scans and X-rays showed no further damage after the rookie right-hander was lifted from a start Friday. He was hit by a line drive in the ribs nearly three weeks ago and had still been feeling ill-effects – including difficulty breathing. Buehler isn’t sure if he’ll require a DL stint. ”A timetable, right now, is really wide open because we don’t want to jeopardize anything with his mechanics or anything to be compromised,” manager Dave Roberts said.
BACK AT IT
J.D. Martinez has been hounded by back spasms over the past week, getting pulled from two games and sitting out Friday, but he felt good enough to hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in a win Saturday and should be back in the lineup Sunday. Martinez leads the majors with 21 homers and 54 RBIs, and teammate David Price thinks he’s just getting started. ”I really don’t feel like he’s gotten that hot, as hot as I’ve seen him get,” said Price, who played with Martinez in parts of the 2014 and `15 seasons. ”He can get hotter.”
Corey Kluber hasn’t walked a batter since May 8, a stretch of 33 1/3 innings, and he’ll try to extend that run when Cleveland faces Detroit. Kluber is 4-0 with a 0.81 ERA over five starts during his walk-less streak, and he’s struck out 38 in that span. The Tigers will counter with Artie Lewicki (0-1, 3.86) a day after winning on Jeimer Candelario’s 12th-inning home run.
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